Below is the image of the UniFi AP signal strength that was shown in last week’s DIY. It was shown to demonstrate the signal strength of the UniFi AP in comparison to the Verizon FIOS Actiontec router signal. As you can see, the wireless signal strength is quite strong in comparison to my neighbors. Please remember that this test was performed in a townhouse where wireless network signals currently run rampant and in a concentrated radius.
(25 ft away from access point)
(25 ft away from access point)
Preliminary tests only show that the UniFi AP LR has about the same wireless signal strength when compared to the UniFi AP. (At 25 ft from the access point) I will be doing some more in depth testing with both units as I would like to see if the UniFi AP LR can actually live up to its claim of 600 ft of wireless range. Please check back for updates within the week.
Update: For those considering the UniFi AP or the UniFi AP LR, keep in mind that the LR, which is the long range version, is powered by a more powerful antenna. This more powerful antenna comes at a price…more noise. The UniFi AP is very quiet, almost inaudible. The UniFi AP LR however makes a very low clicking sound as data is being transmitted over the wireless network. The sound is similar to that of a hard drive writing data. This may not be a great nuisance in a busy office but for home use you may want to use the UniFi AP if the access point is going to be placed in a frequently used area.
Update: After spending the weekend with the UniFi AP LR, I have come to a few conclusions about both access points. First, both access points are excellent. Not only do they increase the wireless range of the FIOS router, they both outperform any stock wireless router that you can buy in a store. For the average household that is simply looking to build a solid wireless network that covers their entire home, including the outdoors to some extent, the UniFi AP will be sufficient. It houses 2 powerful antennas that can deliver a strong wireless signal in a 400′ radius.
The main difference between the UniFi AP and the UniFi AP LR is the range of the wireless signal. Both access points can handle more than 100 clients simultaneously and both have the capability to run up to four different SSID’s. However, the UniFi AP LR can deliver a wireless signal in a 600′ radius.
Over this past weekend I ran various tests between both access points and came to a conclusion…you can’t go wrong with either access point. In my 2,000 square foot town home both UniFi access points were able to provide ample signal strength to even the most remote part of the house…and both allowed me to walk to my mailbox and still have plenty of signal to update my Facebook status. The UniFi AP LR did show a stronger signal at the mailbox than the UniFi AP, but I did not notice any difference in internet speed at this distance between the two.
Which access point would I recommend?
This depends on the setup of your home and personal preference. If distance is a major concern, definitely go for the UniFi AP LR since it will provide the largest radius of wireless signal. However, do take into consideration that there is a slight clicking sound that is emitted from the UniFi AP LR as data is being transmitted. In my own town home, it was very easy to run CAT 6 Ethernet wire to the center of the second story ceiling. However, running Ethernet wire to the center of the first floor ceiling is nearly impossible without calling up an electrician to snake Ethernet wire through the floors. Because of this I chose to keep the UniFi AP LR installed since it did provide me with a slightly stronger wireless signal outdoors. The location of the access point allows for minimal disturbance due to the data transmission sounds the access point emits.
Important: Placement of the Access Points
At some point in our lives, we have all been to a house where the router was installed in the most remote location. This setup provides numerous dead zones where obtaining a wireless signal is nearly impossible. The ideal placement of the access points would be the center of the ceiling in each floor of a home. A two story home with a finished basement would have 3 access points installed. This would allow the access points to evenly distribute the wireless signal across the entire floor of the home. One access point would serve as the main access point and the 2nd and 3rd access point would be set up as wireless signal repeaters.
Not ready for the challenge but would like the benefits of a UniFi AP installed in your home or office?
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